Ride Bike or Take Car - Do give it some real deep thought
Here we address 5 common situations where we would love you to consider the greener alternative.
|Mohacs, Hungary : Cycling is just the way one gets around|
Much as we’d all like to do the best possible thing both for the planet and our own health, let’s face it, SOMETIMES it’s just not practical to use the bike ...
... Although I have personally witnessed SOFAS being carried in Schkoder in Albania!
But if everyone used their bike for the things they COULD use it for then maybe we could preserve what’s left of our resources and planet until we come up with some good long term solutions.
One size does not fit all and for many people cycling just isn’t an alternative. However, a little bit of thought and preparation alongside the help of friends and innovation can find wonderful solutions for what may initially appear to be an impossible task.
|Act now to save our planet|
|Glasgow – COP 26 summit|
We’re constantly being told that action is required RIGHT NOW and that Governments are too slow to make changes but you can do YOUR bit RIGHT NOW by using your bike instead of the car today.
Just by reducing the amount you use your car you are helping to solve the problem.
5 concessions you can make that will have an impact straight away
1. The Milk Run
The Scenario: We’ve all been there – the cornflakes are on the table, we’re late for work and that little minx of a son of yours went straight to the fridge, drained the milk (straight from the bottle) and had the AUDACITY to put the carton back in with a teaspoon of milk inside so he could say ‘I didn’t finish it mum, honest!’
|We’re out of milk dear|
2. The School Run
The Scenario: The school uniform shirt wasn’t clean so you had to quickly iron another one (you didn’t have to but that’s a whole new ‘greener solutions’ blog post called ‘Ditch the iron!’), your youngest was still in bed 2 minutes after ‘leaving time’, the milk from the above post wasn’t there so you had to make an omelette, you have a 9:15am meeting at work with a client you CANNOT postpone AGAIN and the traffic is now super heavy so you’re going to be late … again.
The closer to school you live the later you will always be
3. The Gym Run
The Scenario: It’s raining, it’s cold, the yoga class starts in ten minutes and you just CAN’T carry your yoga mat on the bike.
|‘What fits your busy schedule better, exercising one hour a day or being dead 24 hours a day?’|
4. The ‘Wine o’clock’ Run
The Scenario: It’s been that kind of day and you just fancy a bottle of wine to accompany that lovely meal you’re halfway through cooking but you drank the last bottle … hmm, was it only just last night? … anyway, where are the car keys… ?
‘I’ll just pop down to the cellar for a bottle of wine dear!’
5. The Weekly Shop
The Scenario: You’re running out of all the staple foods and basics, the pepper mill is empty, there’s no cooking oil, the fridge is devoid of all of the fun stuff (and veg), your favourite glass just smashed, you scoffed the last bar of dairy milk (alongside the last bottle of wine) last night and the cat threw the last toilet roll down the toilet.
There are of course much easier ways of carrying it, but toilet roll also makes excellent padding!
The Solution to all of the above :
You cycle instead of taking the car.
All of them can be addressed by just ONE thing.
Why not make the decision today to change your set up and your lifestyle to accommodate this exciting alternative that will not only save you money on fuel and SAVE THE PLANET but will also help you to live a more healthy life yourself, increasing your own chances of enjoying all that this wonderful world has to offer.
Your Arguments As To Why You Can’t
1. Your bike isn’t ‘handy‘
Then make it so!
Give it pride of place right by the back door. Make it easier to find than the car keys (it’s bigger!) Give it a sturdy pannier rack and / or adorn it with a lovely shopping basket. Make sure the tyres are always pumped up. Leave a little handlebar bag on it with the essentials like a tenner, your lipstick and a little bit of Savlon in case you fall off!
Service it once a year. (It’s MOT will be cheaper than the car one) Give it a name!
|I think this one should be called Winston|
2 : It takes too long.
It doesn’t! ‘Too long’ is a subjective phrase and nothing takes too long if it is preventing forever not happening
You’ll get faster at it, honest! Practise! Time yourself. If you’re lucky enough to have a supermarket a kilometre or less away I can pretty much guarantee it will be faster than taking the car on 9 out of 10 occasions! Get up earlier. Change your mindset as to what constitutes ‘too long’. Live a different life.
|I will NEVER be competitive!|
3 : It’s raining
Now don’t be silly! You live in the UK. OF COURSE it’s raining.
Back to ‘Being Organised’. Rain jacket on the peg makes it handy. Slip on shoes by the back door. Waterproof panniers always on the bike with the back light already attached and charged up. It rarely rains ALL day. And believe it or not HEAVY rain isn’t actually all that common. You can cycle in the drizzly grey stuff; it’s fine, seriously, despite what your mum said you won’t catch a cold. She didn’t have Millets selling Peter Storm and Amazon with enough choice of winter clothing for anyone to complete an Antarctic expedition.
|Wear a smile 🙂|
OK, so I went a bit overboard there with the smiling in the rain image but just pop the smile on with your coat and it’s amazing how much easier it becomes 🙂
4 : You can’t ride a bike
Well it’s time to learn.
You are never to old to learn how to ride a bike. And if balancing on two wheels continues to evade you there is no stigma attached to the tricycle any more. Those days are long gone. Two wheels can be three or four wheels. They can be of the push bike variety or an e-type alternative. Both are making a difference to the planet. And both are a healthier alternative to taking the car.
Tricycles can actually be incredibly practical
5 : You can’t be bothered.
You’re reading this, so it means something to you to live a greener life. You want to live a greener life, you’re just not sure where to start. Refer to the ‘Act Now’ post above. Even if you take your bike on just ONE of the five occasions I mention above just once a month, you are making a start … who knows where it will end 😉
|Why not use the car money to move to a cycle friendly town for your retirement|
It’s amazing what you can fit on a bike. With trailers, panniers and baskets there’s nothing you can’t carry safely. Sustrans have all sorts of tips for doing your shopping by bicycle and living a car-free retirement
We all have to take responsibility for our own actions.
Using your bicycle is just one more little thing to add to the growing list of things you now do naturally …
- Bottles to the bottle bank
- Re-cycling in the right bin
- Reusable cup in your handbag
- ‘No thanks’ to the plastic bag at the checkout
- No more ironing – seriously – press your jeans as you fold them with your hands on the carpet hot out of the airing cupboard (you don’t use a tumble dryer, surely!?) and iron your partners – both of you go down the pub wearing your jeans and see if anyone notices the difference
- Bike instead of car
Go on – Ask Santa for a bike.
No need to spend a fortune on one, you can ask Linda for a re-furbished one:
If you’re reading this and you are not in Bedfordshire then I am sure you will find a similar bike rescue outfit near you.
And when you have progressed to being more confident on the road and fancy taking a road bike holiday then we would LOVE to hear from you!